Do domestic cats kill chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JustOneMore, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. JustOneMore

    JustOneMore Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have an indoor/outdoor cat and a flock of full grown hens.

    A couple of weeks ago one of our hens was killed in the late morning. the kill site (where it looked like the Australorp exploded) was about 25 feet from the place the body was left. The body was found at the edge of the fenceline.

    There was minimal flesh gone. An area about 4" square was eaten but it only went about 1/4" deep. So whatever killed her didn't eat much.

    We put up a portable garage in the hen yard in hopes of preventing an arial attack ... if a bird had killed the first hen.

    Friday morning there was a huge pile of Australorp feathers in the middle of the portable garage. I couldn't find the body in the large hen yard. Yesterday, we saw the cat eating something along the fenceline and on further inspection we located the remains of the missing hen.

    We know that the cat is a hunter since he often brings home squirrels, rodents, and an occasional bird. But do cats hunt chickens? He free feeds in the house so I know he shouldn't be hungry.

    We have a mixed flock of birds in many colors (including some Polish). Are preditors more drawn to dark birds? I am wondering why both of our losses have been Australorps (we had only 3 in our flock of 24).

    Any information would be appreciated.
  2. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2009
    Sounds like a coon. At my house its the opposite the chickens flog the cat.
  3. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    Some will and some won't. It would be safest to reinforce the henyard so nothing, including the cat, can get in.

    (It might have been eating somebody else's kill - but that may give it ideas! [​IMG] )
  4. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The cat probably just found the dead chicken and decided to try it. Maybe she was just hungry. My neighbors on both sides have outdoor cats (mine are indoor only) and both cats spend a lot of time in and around my coop, catching mice, drinking water, and just generally socializing with the hens. I wouldn't let them near baby chicks, but I doubt that a cat would attempt anything on a full grown chicken, especially with a protective rooster around. My roo tolerates the cats, which means he doesn't think they are a threat to his hens.
    He gets between the hens and my dogs, however, even though the dogs are on the other side of the fence.

    I don't think the cat had anything to do with the murder.
  5. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Only wild Ferral cats kill chickens!!!!!!!
    Normally the adult hens will attack a domestic cat and give it a thrashing!!!!!! A domestic Cat will however kill chicks.
    Chirckens have killed Foxes - so a cat wouldn;t stand a chance. - I think your cat just found the dead body it didn;t kill her.

    Oesdog [​IMG]
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    One of my cats will kill a chicken in a heartbeat, but she's an exception rather than the rule.
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    My cats are terrified of the chickens. The really wild feral will give up his food a disappear if I let the chickens out. Around here I have to protect the cats from the hens.

  8. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Agreed -- I wouldn't trust cats around little chicks, but it would be VERY uncommon for a cat to take on (and especially win) over a full-sized, adult chicken. The cat probably just took advantage of the opportunity when it found the dead chicken. It does sound more like a raccoon or fox. My condolences on your losses; I hope you can reinforce the coop/run or catch the predator. [​IMG]
  9. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    my cats love chickens here is the proof!!

    ChelseaT and StoopidFNG like this.
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Feral cats YES, they are capable of killing a chicken.

    Domesticated, pussy-wussy kind of cat, nope, they are too weak to kill a chicken and they rather avoid them at all costs except for unprotected baby chicks.

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